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Pickens Habitat brings people together to build community! Since 1981, we've helped neighbors achieve the safety and security that can be found in affordable homeownership. We couldn't do this without the help of our local community and caring partners.

Read on to learn more about the impact we've made through the years with the help of generous donors and dedicated volunteers.


2024 Housing Advocacy Wish List: Building Hope and Homes Together

A desk with a cup of coffee, a pen, a set of house keys, and a notepad. The notepad has Advocacy Wish List written across the top and then bulleted points that are difficult to read.

In the quest for equitable and sustainable communities, the year 2024 stands as a beacon of hope and action in the world of housing advocacy. Our wish list for this year is ambitious, yet attainable, focusing on a series of public policies and initiatives that promise to reshape the landscape of affordable housing. This article serves as a call to action for legislators, corporate leaders, and concerned citizens, emphasizing the importance of each item in our collective pursuit of a brighter, more inclusive future. With this call to action in mind, let’s turn our attention to the pivotal strategies that can make this vision a reality, starting with Public Policies to Increase Supply and Preservation of Affordable Housing.

  1. Public Policies to Increase Supply and Preservation of Affordable Housing
    1. Expand Affordable Home Production: The foundation of our wish list lies in enhancing affordable home production. Strategies like housing trust funds, general obligation bonds, state housing tax credits, and tax increment financing are not just financial tools; they are lifelines for communities in need. Each of these mechanisms can fuel the construction of new, affordable homes, making the dream of homeownership a reality for many.
    2. Increase Access to Existing Housing Stock: Tenant-based rental assistance is a critical element. This approach not only helps individuals and families find housing but also stabilizes communities by allowing tenants to choose their homes, thereby integrating into neighborhoods and contributing to local economies.
    3.  Preserve Existing Affordable Homes: The preservation of affordable housing is just as vital as its creation. Implementing sale notification requirements and local rights of first refusal ensures that affordable housing remains a community asset, safeguarding these homes for future generations.
  2. Public Policies to Equitably Increase Access to Credit
    1. Access to credit remains a barrier for many aspiring homeowners. Advocating for policies that open these financial gateways equitably can transform lives, allowing for diverse and inclusive community development.
  3. Expand Asset Development and Housing Counseling
    1. Down Payment Assistance and Individual Development Accounts: These financial tools empower individuals by supporting their journey towards homeownership, turning their aspirations into tangible outcomes.
    2. Housing Counseling and Education: Knowledge is power. By offering counseling and education, we equip potential homeowners with the skills and information necessary to navigate the complex housing market.
  4. Promote Fair Lending and Consumer Protections
    1. Inclusive credit scoring is more than a policy; it's a statement of equity and inclusion. This approach ensures that lending practices are fair, opening doors for those traditionally marginalized in the housing market.
  5. Public Policies to Optimize Land Use for Affordable Homes
    1. Streamline Zoning and Land Use Advocacy: Local and state zoning reforms can significantly impact the availability of land for affordable housing. Emphasizing racially equitable land use policies ensures that these reforms benefit all communities equally.
    2. Making Land Available for Affordable Housing: Utilizing land banks, public land, and property acquisition funds creatively can significantly boost the availability of land for affordable housing projects.
  6. Create Incentives or Requirements for Affordable Housing
    1. Inclusionary zoning is a powerful tool that mandates or incentivizes the creation of affordable housing within new developments, ensuring that growth benefits everyone.
  7. Promote Long-Term Equity, Affordability, and Asset Building
    1. Shared equity models offer a sustainable path to homeownership, balancing individual home equity with long-term affordability and community stability.
  8. Public Policies to Increase Access to Communities of Opportunity
    1. Promoting policies that support renter and homeowner stability, such as property tax relief and renter protections, is essential in building resilient communities.
  9. Improve the Quality of Existing Housing Stock
    1. Strengthening housing and building codes, and providing targeted resources for home repair, are crucial steps in improving the quality and safety of existing housing.
  10. Support Healthy and Economically Integrated Neighborhoods
    1. This goal underlines the importance of comprehensive community development, beyond just housing, to foster vibrant, healthy, and diverse neighborhoods.
  11. Public Policies to Advance Affiliate Operations
    1. Reduce Costs: Exemptions like property tax and sales tax for Habitat affiliates can significantly lower operational costs, channeling more resources into building homes and communities.
    2. Mortgage Lending Compliance: Ensuring compliance with mortgage lending laws is crucial in maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of housing programs.

As you can see, the 2024 Housing Advocacy Wish List is more than a set of goals; it's a roadmap for creating inclusive, sustainable communities where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. As we unite in this cause, we call upon state and federal legislators, local government officials, corporate executives, and community leaders to join us in turning these wishes into reality. Together, we can build not just homes, but hope, stability, and a future for all.